“If you have received an invitation to go for your routine cervical smear then please do not ignore the letter. The test should take no more than 15 minutes and could save your life.”
That’s the message from Linda Hayes, Cervical Screening Outreach Nurse at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust this Cervical Cancer Prevention Week – a UK-wide initiative led by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. The week aims to highlight the importance of cervical screening (smear test) and how attending a screening invitation can help to prevent cervical cancer.
Every day in the UK, nine women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and three women will lose their lives to the disease. Yet 22% of women do not attend their cervical screening invitation, resulting in 1in 4 women not attending their screening test. The campaign has been running for 20 years and public understanding of the importance of cervical screening and the causes of cervical abnormalities, and cervical cancer is low.
Linda said: “It’s really important that we try and raise awareness of the importance of cervical screening and Cervical Cancer Prevention Week is the perfect opportunity to do just that’.
Linda already works across Walsall with a number of GP practices to enable women to take advantage of their screening test but in addition to this, works in an Outreach Capacity and will make home visits to women who are unable to access GP appointments. This may be women who are sight impaired, have a learning disability or experience mobility issues. She is also able to support women who have suffered FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) who, understandably, have a fear of clinical environments.
For further information or a chat in confidence please contact Linda on 01922 602610/07814 986176 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust website can be found www.jostrust.org.uk